Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Beardtongue, Beard Tongue, Penstemon
Penstemon x mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple'

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: x mexicali (meks-ih-KAL-ee) (Info)
Cultivar: Pike's Peak Purple

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CrowMeris On May 20, 2013, CrowMeris from Greene, NY wrote:

Great, reliable, drought-resistant once established, virtually care-free. I've never had a penstemon I didn't like, and this one is no exception.

Mine's planted in moderately-rich soil where it gets sunshine nearly all day, fed in early spring with Plant-tone and a bit of compost - this is the time to press them back into the soil if they've been heaved up from the ground during winter freezing/thawing cycles.

I'll give them a deep soaking if we've had a prolonged dry spell, but otherwise I neglect them, and they do just fine.

Positive Clary On Sep 30, 2009, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very reliable. Delicate yellowy-green foliage. Begins blooming in May, slows in summer. With cooler temps in autumn it is again covered in fresh leaves and flowers.

The color is a grape-purple. The flowers are "tubular" like all penstemon, but short and robust like a foxglove.

It's planted in rich soil in full sun with normal waterings and never needed any special care. It doesn't seem to mind heat with humidity, unlike other penstemon I've tried (and failed) to grow.

UPDATE: Somehow I became disenchanted with the color of this plant and I pulled it out. The following year it was back as nice as before, from some roots that remained. I'm glad I failed to remove it, because it's so reliable and looks great with some new neighbors I added in the meantime. This plant also seeds readily and grows easily from cuttings. I am developing this into a larger clump from cutting and volunteers, but also simply by stretching out a stem and burying it while it's still attached to the parent plant; the stem will root in a suckering fashion. Hummingbirds and bees are attracted to this plant.

Positive Marilynbeth On Nov 21, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Beautiful! Love it!

Positive txsdar On Jul 16, 2006, txsdar from Harper, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Grows very well 20 miles west of Fredericksberg, TX
Deer do not seem to like it yet!!!! First year so no update on it coming up by itself yet. Will update next spring. Txsdar

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 31, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plant in a full sun location with well drained soil. It can tolerate drought conditions. Great for zones 5 - 8. Small purple flowers bloom all summer long. The plant, with flowers, can reach a height of 15". Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, too. A fast grower.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Flagstaff, Arizona
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Kiowa, Colorado
Fishers, Indiana
Hebron, Kentucky
Norton, Massachusetts
Winchester, Massachusetts
Pinconning, Michigan
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Greene, New York
Chiloquin, Oregon
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Knoxville, Tennessee
Harper, Texas
Riverton, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Vernal, Utah
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Vancouver, Washington

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